Exploring North Central Texas (Lavender Ridge Farms)

A gentle summer breeze blows carrying the fragrance of lavender and rain. Storm clouds roll off in the distance as the faint sound of thunder rumbles. Birds chirp and wing their way from tree to tree as I sit relaxed under the shade drinking my lavender iced tea. I then make my way to the mounds of purple blooms and stroll through the rows of lavender. Butterflies flutter by as bees busily buzz from blossom to blossom. An array of colorful herbs and plants surrounds me as I stand in the farm’s garden. A gust of wind suddenly picks up the dust from the dirt road as jade clouds blanket the sky above. Summer rain begins to plummet down, flashes of lightning light the sky followed by a dramatic clap of thunder. Excitement fills my soul as I run through the squall to the shelter of my jeep. The storm ravages through the country side and then as quickly as it came it begins to dissipate. The sun peeks through the once angry veil of clouds revealing once again its beautiful face. 

Hagerman

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Texoma region between the small town of Whitesboro and the growing City of Sherman. In 1943 when lake Texoma was being filled, the small, once bustling town of Hagerman was immersed in the waters of the Red River. This created expansive grassland and marshes for an array of wildlife including 338 species of birds. During periods of persistent heavier rain fall, Wildlife road, along with the adjacent roadways, become submerged by the waters of Big Mineral Creek, Harris Creek, and the Red River. There is a bridge on Bennett Ln that crosses over Big Mineral Creek. Usually a safe distance from the gently flowing water, Cliff swallows create their gourd-shaped nests of mud on the eaves of the bridge. It has been a fairly stormy spring and Texas has received quite a bit of rainfall. While visiting the refuge this past Saturday I watched as a sord of swallows swiftly darted to and from the rales of the bridge. I anxiously scurried down the sparse, muddy bank anticipating their nests would be submerged. I was relieved to see they were not, but the waters have risen to within a few feet of the eaves making it difficult for the swallows to swoop in to feed their nestlings. I fear the waters will continue to rise as the storms continue to sweep across the South and the nestlings will never fledge, but be consumed by a watery death. I am always amazed, however disheartened, by the wrath of mother nature as she seems to be so unforgiving. I returned today and as I walked down Meadow Pond trail I was surround by Her chorus. The melodic chirping of unseen crickets, Carolina Wrens conversing in the woods, the periodic croak of near by frogs basking in the sun, and psithurism. Within quietus there is still beauty to behold.

Yūgen 幽玄

Yugen, a beautiful word of Japanese origin, describing the feeling of an intense, deep consciousness of the Universe.  An awareness so profound that it arises emotions beyond the description of words. Zeami’s poetics bring forth the imagery of Yugen. “To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of the wild geese seen and lost among the clouds. And subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo.”

At the end of September 2018, I was driving down Wildlife Rd in Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. As I leisurely traveled down the red dirt road, I remember the feeling of awe and excitement as I looked to my left and saw the largest brief of American pelicans I had ever seen. There were hundreds of massive white pelicans lining the shoreline. As I got out of the my Jeep, a few birds took off in into the sky setting off this cascade of flight. My heart felt as if it was going to burst as I observed these massive birds with nine foot wingspans soar in squadrons, effortlessly in the stunning blue sky. The sound their feathers created as they moved through the air is something that cannot be described, just heard. Tears came to my eyes as I suddenly felt overwhelmed with a profound sense of unity with the Divine. We are not separate, but one.

What’s this blog about?

Nature, travel, life. I am definitely an adventurous spirit and take many trips in my camper. I love hiking, biking, birding, kayaking, star gazing, rock hounding, photography…..basically any activity that brings me into the great outdoors. I will be sharing my adventures! Logging and reviewing hikes-bike rides, sharing information on campsites and surrounding attractions, as well as informational nature tid bits. My hope is to share and inspire! I hope you enjoy!

About Me…

Hello all and thank you for joining me! My name is Erin. I am 34 years old and currently reside in a small traditional town in North Texas. My house sits in the middle of the country, down a dusty dirt road surround by broadleaf Oak trees, teaming with wildlife. I moved down here about a year and a half ago from Washington State. I was born in Colorado, grew up in Massachusetts and spent my early 20s in Alabama.  I am a Registered nurse currently working in a charge position in Dialysis, but I spent most of my seven-year career in Critical Care, caring for patient’s and their families having the worst days of their lives. I have seen and experienced a lot of trauma and death, but I’ve also felt the victory of saving a precious life as well as the joys in the small daily triumphs people make in their recovery to wellness.  One thing nursing has instilled in me is that life precious, life is short and in the blink of eye your whole world can dramatically change.  So, live your life with intent, like every day maybe your last. Love to the best of your ability and get out there and experience LIFE.